The function of constructed wetland in reducing the risk of heavy metals on human health
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Irrigation with polluted water from the upper Yellow River (YR) channel of Northwest China has resulted in agricultural soil being contaminated by heavy metals (HMs). This causes major concerns due to the potential health risk to the residents in this area. The present study aims to assess the efficiency of constructed wetland (CW) in reducing the heavy metal contamination in irrigation water and food crops, thus in reduction of potential health risk to the residents. The associated risk was assessed using hazard quotient (HQ) and hazard index (HI). The results showed a potential health risk to inhabitants via consumption of wheat grain irrigated with untreated water from YR. However CW could greatly reduce the human health risk of HMs contamination to local residents through significantly decreasing the concentrations of HMs in wheat grain. In theory, the reduction rate of this risk reached 35.19% for different exposure populations. Therefore, CW can be used as a system to pre-treat irrigation water and protect the residents from the potential HMs toxicity.
KeywordsConstructed wetland Heavy metals Irrigation Spring wheat Risk assessment
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